Great Massingham Circular Walk
This Great Massingham circular walk is a really good countryside walk, most of which is on tracks and trails, and throws up a few surprises along the way.
I didn’t expect to see a pretty church appearing on the edge of Little Massingham village, and I certainly didn’t expect to see Silka deer, so I suppose I’ve given it all away!
But I really enjoyed this walk, mainly because, as mentioned above, the majority of the walk is on farm tracks and the Peddars Way. There’s a little bit of road walking towards the end as you head towards Gt Massingham, but other than that, it’s a really peaceful and lovely walk and nicely dog friendly if you’ve got dogs (however see the warning below re the stile) – and the Silka deer!
Warning: There are two stiles to climb over just on the edge of Lt Massingham and they don't have holes for dogs to get through underneath as it’s all fenced in.
So if you have a big dog and can’t lift it over the stile, you can easily just do a little detour and continue along the road (No 8 below*) so it’s not a problem.
Length: 4.6 miles
Ease of walk: Easy
Dog friendly: Yes (depending on the size due to stile, but there is an easy short alternative)
What you’ll see: Village of Great Massingham, Dabbling Duck pub, a stretch of the Peddars Way National Trail, one of 5s Norfolk songlines (art sculptures along the Peddars Way) farm tracks and countryside, pretty church and Silka deer in parkland.
OS Map: No 250
Postcode: PE32 2HN
PDF booklet: Gt Massingham Circular Walk pdf
Great Massingham Circular Walk Map
- Park in Great Massingham. This is a great village to come back and have a drink or something to eat in the Dabbling Duck pub, or visit the Cart Shed Tea Room.
- Walk past the pub on your left and head towards the green and pond. Just a little way along here, turn left besides Duckling Cottage where you'll see a sign which says public footpath. Walk along the track to the end of the houses and continue straight ahead where you will come out onto a field. Keep the hedge on your left.
- At the end of this first field, turn right heading towards the houses in front of you (don’t walk diagonally across the field in front of you). Once you’ve turned right you are now heading towards some houses.
- At the end of this short path, you reach a concrete/gravel track. Turn left and head towards the telephone masts. This road/path takes you all the way to the Peddars Way.
- Once at the Peddars Way turn right and walk all the way along here until you reach a small lane. Turn right onto the lane and then turn immediately left to carry on along the Peddars Way. Continue along the Peddars Way, passing the way marker for the Houghton circular walk (on the left).
- You eventually come across two tall silos on your right hand side. Just after the silos look out for a large gap in the hedge with a sign post which says public bridal way. It’s also just after one of the Norfolk songlines which is one of 5 sculptures put up along the Peddars Way as an art project. Turn right through this gap. You’ve now come off the Peddars Way and you'll be walking on farm tracks along the side of a field with a woodland on your right. Continue to follow this slightly meandering farm track with some great views over the open countryside.
- When you get to a T-junction of tracks, turn right. The path winds around the small wood on the right, and a bit further along here you come face-to-face with some house. Keep following the track around to the right, walk past a large barn and a few houses on your left and right until you reach another lane, Church Lane.
- Turn left onto Church Lane, a quiet lane which passes a large pond on your right. Eventually you’ll arrive at the pretty church of St Andrew with a lovely flintstone wall, just on the edge of the village.
- At the end of the church wall you’ll see a stile. Climb over the stile and cross the field diagonally following the footpath sign to the other stile on the far side of the field. (If you find you can’t get over the stile, or your dog is too big to lift over, all you need to do is carry along on the road, turn left at the junction and you’ll come across Hill Farm Courtyard on your right and re-join the walk).
- Having climbed over the second style turn right onto the lane.
- A very short way along this lane, turn left into the drive of Hill Farm Courtyard. There is a sign saying public footpath and a sign for Hill Farm Courtyard. It looks like you’re going into someone’s drive, but this is correct! Continue on straight keeping some young Italian Cypress trees on your left. Follow the footpath right and you’ll come face to face with a large house and closed gates. It looks like there’s nowhere else to go, but don’t worry. Look left and you’ll see a tall wooden fence and gates.
- Go through the gates on your left and walk into the field. This field has Silka Deer in it, hence the high fence, and for me, this was one of the highlights on this Great Massingham circular walk. There is a sign saying that they give birth in May, June and July so if you’re with a dog please keep them on a lead as the deer are very unpredictable, and do not approach them. But there’s plenty of space to walk away from them if they are in the way, and it’s also very pretty walking through the parkland.
Hug the post and rail fence (depending on where the deer are) to where you’ll see a farm drive ahead of you.
- Turn left onto this drive heading away from the house and walk towards the gate and cattle grid which is easy to see. Walk out of the gate and follow the farm drive to the end until you reach the lane.
- Turn right and follow this lane all the way into Great Massingham.
- At the T-junction in Gt Massingham, turn left onto Station Road. This brings you back to the middle of the village.
I hope you enjoy this Great Massingham circular walk.